The act, especially beheading of one, violated Geneva Convention, says PIL plea in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Union government on a petition for a directive to refer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan, one of them beheaded and his body sent to India. A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and J.S. Khehar issued the notice, returnable in four weeks, on the petition filed in public interest by advocate Sarwa Mitter. It also wanted a directive to the government to ask Pakistan to return the head of jawan Hemraj and break trade and cultural ties with that country if it failed to do so.

In his submission, senior counsel Vikram Mahajan called the beheading highly heinous and inhuman and against international conventions. When Justice Sathasivam wanted to know from counsel whether he had made any representation to the government, counsel said the Foreign Minister’s statements indicated the government’s failure to act, which violated the human rights of every Indian citizen. Despite such gruesome and heinous crimes, he argued, India was having dance and drama festivals with Pakistan, and cricket and hockey tournaments.

The petitioner said the Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, hostage-taking, outrages upon a person’s dignity and sentencing without trial.

He said the government must take the matter to the ICC under Article 3 of the Convention. “The present instance is a war crime as it is heinous and brutal… and falls in the category of ‘crime against humanity’ under Article 7 and ‘war crime’ under Article 8 of the Convention.”

More In: National | News